New Cut the Rope version hits App Store tonight

It’s not exactly a sequel to the highly popular original, but a new version of ZeptoLabs’ Cut the Rope is making its debut in the iTunes App Store tonight.

The new game is called Cut the Rope: Experiments, and finds the lovable candy-chomping character of Om Nom being delivered to a new residence. This time around, it’s not some run-of-the-mill suburban house to which Om Nom comes, but to the home of a wild-haired scientist – hence the “Experiments” moniker.

Here’s a quick rundown of the Cut the Rope formula for those who haven’t experienced it. The game is a physics puzzler in which the goal is to swing a piece of candy, usually hanging from a rope, around each level in order to get it to touch three stars and collect them. The stars represent scoring for each level and the best possible solution to each puzzle has the player snagging all three. Each level is completed when the piece of ends up in the mouth of Om Nom, a little green lizard pet. Puzzles generally are solved by cutting the ropes holding the candy with a swipe over the screen, in order to get the candy to move around the level predictably.

There are already a lot of Cut the Rope levels out there in the standard version of the game and in Cut the Rope: Holiday Gift, a free version that came out during the Holiday 2010 season. The difference with Experiments, mostly, is a recasting of the Cut the Rope formula to be a little more difficult and require a different way of thinking about the same problems. For example, in many Experiments’ levels, time is a factor and some or all of the stars will disappear after a timer runs out. In others, the stars are moving around the level, requiring precise timing. Each level is scored for gathering stars and for how long it takes to complete them.

Experiments includes 75 such levels and a few new tools and obstacles. These tools include things like rope shooters and suction cups that change the game by allowing you to manipulate the candy in different ways. This time around, Cut the Rope requires a great deal of timing and precise movements – it’s an interesting way of reworking the same elements to make the game challenging in new ways.

Cut the Rope: Experiments drops for $0.99 on the iPhone and $1.99 on the iPad. It’ll be available at 11 p.m. EST tonight.

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